The Hershey Bears (31-25-3-6) entered the final stretch in the 2012-2013 AHL season, embarking on a 14 game journey to close out the year, including 11 of their final 14 games away from Giant Center. They picked up three points this weekend, as their road record fell to 15-11-0-4.
The Bears fell just short of a win, but earned a point in Friday night’s shootout loss to the Connecticut Whale on Friday night in Hartford. Whale forward Kris Newbury sunk the Bears in the shootout, scoring the only goal in the period following overtime. Recent Hershey Bears acquisition Nicolas Deschamps tallied his first goal with his new team 12:16 into the first period following Connecticut’s first goal 5:32 into the game. Hershey forward Ryan Potulny registered his 14th goal of the season 11:45 into the second frame, assisted by Captain Boyd Kane. Goalie Philipp Grubauer recorded 26 saves on 28 shots in the shootout loss.
On Saturday night, the Bears choked up a 3-0 lead and fell to the Manchester Monarchs by a 6-4 score. Ryan Potulny scored two goals and Boyd Kane racked up his 500th career AHL point to give the Bears a 3-0 lead until the Monarchs tallied five straight goals to pick up the win. Hershey goalie Philipp Grubauer registered 23 saves on 28 shots and Peter LeBlanc tallied a late goal in the Bears loss.
Following a tough loss on Saturday night, the Bears came back with a much better effort in their 4-1 win over the Worcester Sharks. Dany Sabourin (9-10-3) got the start in goal for the Chocolate and White, recording 32 saves on 33 shots. Hershey received goals from four different players and newcomer Joey Crabb, who was sent down by the Washington Capitals, tallied his first assist with the Bears, recording the helper on Patrick McNeill’s goal which opened the scoring just 5:22 into the game.
Matt Pope, Casey Wellman and Garrett Mitchell also recorded goals for the Bears. Hershey’s newest defenseman Chay Genoway had a strong game on the blue line, tallying two assists along with a solid plus three. Garrett Stafford, Cameron Schilling and Ryan Potulny were the only Bears players to register a minus rating in the game. With Joey Crabb in the lineup, forward Jon DiSalvatore sat out as the veteran scratch.
With the three point weekend, Hershey fell to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, now holding a four point advantage over the Norfolk Admirals and Manchester Monarchs.
The Chocolate and White play two games this weekend, with their fourth straight road contest Friday night against the Albany Devils, followed by a home game against the Providence Bruins and former Bears Chris Bourque and Graham Mink.